In 1906 when the UK launched HMS Dreadnought, she was the most powerful battleship globally, but she was soon superseded by newer and better battleships.


HMS Dreadnought was commissioned in 1906 and immediately made all other battleships obsolete.  Note the following points made in this National Interest article:

Key points:

  • The brainchild of First Sea Lord "Jackie" Fisher. 
  • Fisher wanted to maintain British Naval Superiority through a more powerful, modern fleet.
  • Fisher initiated the concept of the battlecruiser (which eventually included HMAS Australia1) - as fast as a cruiser but with the hitting power of a battleship.
  • Dreadnought ('fear nothing') had a single main armament of large guns instead of the mixed armament standard on other ships. 
  • Improvements in optics and accuracy meant battles could occur at much greater distances utilising long-range guns. 
  • The Japanese and Americans experimented with 'all big gun' ships.
  • Fisher retired or mothballed older RN ships.
  • Dreadnought used turbines instead of reciprocating engines giving higher speeds with less vibration.
  • Displacing 18,200 tons (Australia's current Hobart Class is 7000 tons) with ten twelve-inch guns and a speed of twenty-one knots, Dreadnought revolutionised maritime warfare.
  • Other countries quickly followed Dreadnought's design.
  • She became the flagship of the UK Home Fleet until 1912, but newer, larger and better battleships were soon built by navies worldwide.
  • Dreadnought is the only Battleship to have ever sunk a submarine- by ramming.
  • Dreadnought was in refit during the biggest sea battle of WW1- Jutland, and was eventually scrapped in 1923 see: Jutland, Battle of | The Runway (
  • The leap in capability provided by HMS Dreadnought was comparable to that experienced with the introduction of jet fighter aircraft.

Worth noting and remembering the following:




Recent Runway Posts related to this topic:

References from the Web:

Source Information National Interest The